This is a post about the first two weeks about this summer's fun at The REAL Program. Every day the children select books that they can keep! In addition, they read books or they are read to by a volunteer. The books are donated from all over the region by people who understand the importance of reading to children. The books are good quality and our decision to give these books to the children is simply this: If you would give this book as a gift, it is suitable for donation. Mrs. Brown is our lead enthusiast!
Our wonderful intern this summer is Sarah Sessa. Sarah is a senior at Gordon College and she is a great asset to The REAL Program. Sarah has creativity, resourcefulness and compassion that we have adapted for project-based learning in the form of cardboard box construction that become villages, cities, trucks, space ships. ENGLISH descriptions and conversations fill the air while our COMMUNITY BUILDING takes place literally and figuratively.
The children are given some summer reading as part of their school requirements. We have lots of discussion about reading, nonfiction and fiction material. We have selected a nonfiction book about a young girl who was an immigrant on the Mayflower named Remember Patience Whipple. This gives lots of discussion, clarification and vocabulary building around the concept of immigration.
Steven examines an insect in our puddle classroom!
Another day's teachable moment utilizes the giant puddle in our outdoor classroom. The children and volunteers create rafts with colorful popsicle sticks/glue/masking tape and poster board. Older children use the white board to make a graph of the rafts and to record predictions about the number of pebbles each raft would carry before sinking. We even make the puddle bigger with the addition of a hose to create current and make further predictions of where the rafts would go when the wind and current do not flow in the same direction.
Special guests, children's musician Darren Muise and Lynn teacher/crafter Kim Staples provide developmentally appropriate entertainment and activities for children and adults, too.
Sharon Fosbury provides English classes to a growing number of adults whose children attend The REAL Program. The energy and enthusiasm to learn English is as clear as the children's energy to learn everything!
We have started our summer fun at The REAL Program! Children, adults, parents, teens, volunteers, students, board members, friends, neighbors, grandparents and all are enjoying learning and teaching together. The time goes by so quickly and the children do not want to leave. Today's adventures centered around a wonderful puddle with an insect swimming in it. This prompted observation, investigation and, ultimately, raft building with popsicle sticks, glue, tape and markers. Older students documented it all with photography and graphing on a giant white board.
Thanks to all the families, volunteers and the folks at Congregation Ahabat Sholom!